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Reading Ballroom Dance Scripts - Dance - Plussed.net

Reading Ballroom Dance Scripts - Dance - Plussed.net

C: Centre DC: Diagonal

C: Centre DC: Diagonal to Centre DCA: Diagonal to Centre Against line of dance LOD: Line of Dance ALOD: Against Line of Dance 24 DW: Diagonal to Wall W: Wall DWA: Diagonal to Wall Against line of dance DCA and DWA are also often written as DCALOD and DWALOD, but the point of a good acronym is that it should be comfortably short, and DCA and DWA are not ambiguous. Another oddity is that when these orientation labels are being used to describe directions rather than alignments: • ‘LOD’ usually becomes ‘down LOD’ or ‘along LOD’, and • Wall and Centre usually become ‘to Wall’ and ‘to Centre’. The other 5 labels are not altered. On the dance floor, all alignments are located relative to Line of Dance. For example, in the following two diagrams the red arrows point to Wall and the blue arrow point to Centre. The first diagram is for the scenario where the Line of Dance curves around the corners, as in sequence dances and Samba. The second diagram is for the scenario where right-angled corners occur, as in the Standard style dances.

Notice that the alignments Wall and Centre are always perpendicular to LOD. For example, ‘Centre’ means ‘90° left of LOD’ and this alignment does not usually point directly at the physical centre of the floor. (Recreational mathematicians should now try to identify all positions where a line drawn toward ‘Centre’ does pass through the centre of the floor.) With respect to the diagram above showing the 8 orientations, it seems to be the convention to always draw the diagram with LOD pointing ‘up’ on the page. This is only a convention, just as it is only a convention that North is ‘up’ on a map. The important point to grasp is not where LOD is drawn on the page, but rather where the other alignments are relative to LOD. In practice, you need to be able to rotate this whole diagram in your head and place it correctly at any point on the dance floor, remembering that it has to be oriented differently at different points on the floor. Usually these 8 orientations provide sufficient resolution to describe all the alignments and directions occurring in a dance. If a finer resolution is required, it can be specified as being between 2 of these orientations. For example, ‘The Ballroom Technique’ indicates that in Tango, step 1 of the open finish has an alignment ‘between wall and DW’ for the man. Alternatively an ‘almost’ orientation may be used. For example, the Foxtrot Natural Weave includes the alignment ‘almost DC’. The Waltz Closed Telemark contains another example. 5.3 Facing and Backing – 8 alignments become 16 This terminology appears to be unnecessary, adding an extra level of complexity to dance scripts for no apparent gain in clarity. Unfortunately it is traditional and we’re stuck with it. This terminology applies only to alignments, not to directions. 5.3.1 Facing and backing – What do they mean? The alignment at the end of a step which had any forward component (e.g. fwd, diagonally fwd, side and slightly fwd) is stated as the keyword ‘facing’ followed by the alignment you are facing. The alignment at the end of a step which had any backward component (e.g. back, diagonally back, side and slightly back) is stated as the keyword ‘backing’ followed by the alignment you are backing, which is opposite to the way you are facing. For example, say you are facing LOD. • If you just completed the step ‘LF side and slightly fwd’ your alignment would be stated as ‘facing LOD’. 25

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